Regular-article-logo Friday, 01 December 2023

Year-end festive bells ring in New Town

Fair to choir, festival to carnival planned in days ahead

Snehal Sengupta Calcutta Published 19.12.19, 10:44 PM
Anjan Dutt addresses the Kolkata Poush Utsav press meet as Alokananda Roy, organiser Paramita Banerjee, Amita Dutt and Anup Matilal look on

Anjan Dutt addresses the Kolkata Poush Utsav press meet as Alokananda Roy, organiser Paramita Banerjee, Amita Dutt and Anup Matilal look on (Sudeshna Banerjee)

Christmas Carnival

Where: Eco Park


When: From December 24 and 25, 12noon to 7.30pm

What: A Christmas tree and a Santa Claus figure will welcome visitors at Eco Island near Cafe Ekante, as also near Rabi Aranya, providing photograph opportunities. A man in a Santa Claus costume will move around the park, handing chocolates to kids.

Children will be also asked to collect plastic bags from the park and whoever hands them over to Santa will get extra candies.

Several bio-toilets will be placed around the park. Christmas-themed menus will be on offer at the Hidco-run Cafe Ekante on Eco Island and Cafe Ajante near the Eiffel Tower replica.

Food Olympics

Where: Eco Park

When: December 20 to January 5

What: Three new food courts near gate number 1, 2 and 4 respectively, will house 40 food stalls from restaurants and cafes from across the city, like Flurys and Wow! Momo, and have stalls serving pithe puli. Sushi, pizzas and papri chaat will also be on offer.

No outside food will be allowed inside the park in course of the event.

Kolkata Poush Utsav

Where: Rabindra Tirtha lawns

When: December 24 to 29, 12noon to 9pm

What: On Christmas-eve, Brahmasangeet and prayers will be performed at Upasana Griha at 7am, followed by a probhat pheri to Rabindra Tirtha.

The inauguration will take place at 5pm followed by the musical Dhrubajyoti Tumi Jishu, directed by Alokananda Roy, featuring inmates of correctional homes. The 50-member cast will present highlights of Christ’s life almost wordlessly through excerpts of Tagore songs — like Jesus walking with the cross to Klanti amar kshoma koro probhu, singing Amar sokol dukher prodip when his mother comes to meet him, the crucifixion to Dhay jyano mor sokol bhalobasha and finally the resurrection to Tomari namey noyon milinu.

On Christmas at 5pm, Anjan Dutt will act in the title role of Raghupati, his adaptation of Tagore’s play Bisarjan. “I had started life in theatre and returned to the stage in 2012. But I have never acted on an open-air stage like this before,” he said.

There will be folk songs on December 26 and Soumitra Chatterjee reciting the next evening. Dakshinee will stage Tagore’s Phalguni on December 28. The last evening will feature Amita Dutt and her dance troupe Ananda Chandrika staging Janani Janmabhoomi, featuring six patriotic songs by six composers, from Tagore to D.L. Ray.

Flower show and X-Mas choir

Where: New Town Business Club

When: December 24 to 26, 1pm to 5pm

What: A flower show has been organised by the club for the first time. Both members of the club and residents of New Town can submit their entries in the form of potted plants. Hidco is sending teams to all housing societies and complexes to inform the residents about the show.

“Only home-grown flowers can be put on display,” said a Hidco official. Residents can call the club at 8335037950, send a Whatsapp message to 8282821515 or send an e-mail to to register.

New Town is gearing up to usher in Christmas and New Year with a host of events planned by Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco) and the New Town Kolkata Development Authority. The Telegraph Salt Lake presents a roster of where to go and what to do in the township this winter.

New Town Book Fair and New Town Fair

When: December 24 to January 5, 2pm to 9pm

Where: At the New Town fairground near the Rabindra Tirtha crossing.

What: This is the second year that the two fairs, which used to be held separately till 2017, have been clubbed together.

According to an official of Hidco, the organisers of the fair, there will be 140 stalls at the sixth edition of the fair, out of which about 70 will be book stalls.

Several publishing houses like Ananda Publishers, Woodpecker and Parul Prakashani have booked space at the fair. The theme will be 200 years of Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar.

Debashis Sen, the chairman and managing director of Hidco, said that the two fairs had been clubbed so that visitors here would not only be able to browse and buy books but they would also be able to buy a host of products, ranging from handloom saris to pickles.

In a first, at least five stalls have been allotted to IT start-up companies that are being incubated by various organisations. According to Sen, they will stand to benefit as the stalls will get visitors and the budding entrepreneurs would be able to sell their products directly or get a feedback about their products and projects.

A stall will also be set up at the fair by the Hidco-run New Town Library that has started functioning recently at Nazrul Tirtha. “The membership fee is Rs 1,000 for a year. Those who become members at the fair will get a gift,” said Sen.

Twenty stalls will showcase products from self-help groups while some will sell products ranging from handicrafts to furniture. The state agricultural, forest and tourism departments will also set up stalls.

A poetry festival will be the highlight of the book fair, said Urmila Sen, the president of the New Town Book Fair organising committee.

The poetry festival will be held in association with Sahitya Akademi. Eminent poets from around the country will recite their work and engage in seminars. A youth literary meet will be held on January 4 and 5.

There will be seminars conducted at the book fair on topics such as “Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar and his life’s journey” and “100 years of Manna Dey and Hemanta Mukherjee”.

Prizes of competitions organised by Hidco through the year including dhunchi naach, sit and draw, and plogging will be handed out on the inaugural day.

‘Swaranika’, a magazine on the New Town Book Fair, being launched

‘Swaranika’, a magazine on the New Town Book Fair, being launched (Mayukh Sengupta)

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